Wilma Rudolph was born black in Jim Crow Tennessee. The twentieth of 22 children, she spent most of her childhood in bed suffering from whooping cough, scarlet fever, and pneumonia. She lost the use of her left leg due to polio and wore leg braces. With dedication and hard work, she became a gifted runner, earning a track and field scholarship to Tennessee State. In 1960, she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympic Games. Her underdog story made her into a media darling, and she was the subject of countless articles, a television movie, children's books, biographies, and she even featured on a U.S. postage stamp. In this work, Smith and Liberti consider not only Rudolph's achievements, but also the ways in which those achievements are interpreted and presented as historical fact. Theories of gender, race, class, and disability collide in the story of Wilma Rudolph, and Smith and Liberti examine this collision in an effort to more fully understand how history is shaped by the cultural concerns of the present. In doing so, the authors engage with the metanarratives which define the American experience and encourage more complex and nuanced interrogations of contemporary heroic legacy.
The 2018 Winter Olympics will be the stage for many compelling stories. Athletes like Ashley Wagner and Sven Kramer are windows into hidden social phenomena, from figure skating's eating disorders to the Dutch obsession with speed skating. Controversies like the Russian doping scandal, the NHL player ban, and the question of whether North Korea will compete or disrupt are creating human drama that affects thousands of athletes. Paralympic athlete Oksana Masters' story of overcoming great odds to challenge for Olympic gold will inspire listeners. Other competitors, like Lindsey Vonn and Lizzy Yarnold, are simply living legends in the sports of downhill skiing and skeleton. Get pumped up for what's shaping up to be the most dramatic winter games ever
Those who avidly followed the on-court acrobatics and off-court celebrity of the "Dream Team" in Barcelona in 1992 would hardly recognize what passed as basketball fifty-six years earlier, when the United States first played the game in the 1936 Olympics. In those early days of men's Olympic basketball, many teams lacked basic skills, games were played in the pouring rain, only seven players could suit up, and the rules allowed only two substitutions and no time-outs. How this slow, low-scoring sport became the breakneck game that enraptures millions worldwide is the story of American Hoops. In this fascinating history of Olympic basketball on the world stage and behind the scenes, Carson Cunningham presents a kaleidoscopic picture of the evolution into the twenty-first century of one of America's most popular sports. From clashes between celebrated egos and thrilling action on the court to the intense rivalries of the Cold War and technological advances in everything from television to sports equipment off the court, American Hoops follows the fortunes of Olympic basketball, in the United States and internationally, as it developed and emerged as one of the most challenging and entertaining sports in the world. Cunningham traces how the modifications made by the International Olympic Committee and the International Basketball Federation have transformed the game of basketball over the years, from the Berlin to the Beijing Olympics. His book offers a remarkable view of the changing world through the prism of Olympic sport.
1936 marked the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to his second term as president and the beginning -- and end -- of Edward VIII's brief reign as King of England. It also featured the most politicized Olympic Games of the century, in which Adolf Hitler attempted to turn the world's premiere athletic competition into a showcase for fascism, a regime that would soon instigate the bloodiest war in history.In this riveting real-life thriller, Guy Walters examines every aspect of the 1936 Games; the International Olympic Committee and its controversial selection of Berlin as the host city; how Germany was viewed by the world in 1936, according to press accounts of the time, and individual stories of key athletes. From athletic glory in the spotlight to political machinations behind the scenes, Berlin Games presents a compelling, unforgettable overview of the competitions and controversy that marked the Eleventh Olympiad. Guy Walters is the author of bestselling wartime thrillers The Traitor, The Leader, and The Occupation. He co-edited The Voice of War, an anthology of World War II memoirs. A regular contributor on historical subjects for The Daily News, Walters was a feature writer and commissioning editor for The Times (London) for eight years. He is married to author Annabel Venning and they have one son. A rich, entertaining and sobering narrative." -- Melbourne Age
For readers of Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit and Unbroken, the dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics
Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.
The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious
"People think speaking truth to power is easy, but if it was easy everyone would do it. This book does it. . . . It speaks truth to the powers that be, from Brazil to the US to FIFA to the IOC. It hits you like an uppercut that rattles your brain and sets it straight. I cannot recommend this book highly enough."--John Carlos, 1968 Olympic medalist
The people of Brazil celebrated when they learned that in the space of two years their country would host the world's two largest sporting events: the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. Now they are protesting in numbers the country hasn't seen in decades.
Dave Zirin relies on fieldwork from the most dangerous corners of Rio to the halls of power in Washington, DC, exposing how sports and politics have collided in spectacular fashion. One of the Boston Globe's "Best Sports Books of 2014," this edition has been newly updated to assess the final tally of debt and displacement that accompanied the 2014 World Cup, eyewitness accounts of the militarized police crackdown, and new reporting on the pre-Olympic plans furthering immiseration in cities across Brazil.
Dave Zirin is sports correspondent for the Nation magazine and the author of nine books on the intersection of sports and politics. Named one of UTNE Reader's "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World," Zirin is a frequent guest on MSNBC, ESPN, and Democracy Now He also hosts his own weekly Sirius XM show, Edge of Sports Radio.
The inspiring story of how one woman saved fellow refugees from drowning--and how she went on to become an Olympic swimmer.
When young Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini realized her boat's engine shut down as she was traveling from Syria to Greece with other refugees, there was no hesitation: she dove into the water. Surfacing, she heard desperate prayers and sobbing from the passengers in the sinking boat above her. Between the waves, her elder sister Sarah screamed at her to get back on the boat. But Mardini was determined. She was not going to let Sarah do this alone. Grabbing the rope with one hand, she began kicking up the black water, inching the boat towards the distant shore.
This bold act of bravery saved the lives of a boatload of refugees heading to Turkey from Syria. After her arrival in Greece, Mardini, focused and undeterred, worked toward a lifelong goal: to compete in the Olympics. She succeeded, and competed in 2016 on the Refugee Olympic Team in Rio de Janeiro.
Butterfly tells her story, from Syria to the Olympics to her current work with the UN as a Goodwill Ambassador. Mardini is eager to tell her story in the hopes that readers will remember that refugees are ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, chased from their homes by a devastating war. In today's political climate, this story is guaranteed to inspire and educate readers from every background.
The definitive account of the rise and fall of South African Olympic and Gold Medal-winning Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, from his personal and athletic success to the murder charge that rocked the world and put both the man, and post-Apartheid South Africa, on trial.
Oscar Pistorius made history as the first amputee to compete against able-bodied runners at the 2012 London Olympics. A hero in his native South Africa, the "Blade Runner" as he is known for his futuristic prosthetic legs, became a global icon of resilience and determination.
But less than a year later, Pistorius rocked the world once again when he shot his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, through a closed bathroom door in the early hours of February14, 2013. Charged with murder, he claimed self-defense, contending that he had acted in a blind panic, imagining an intruder had broken in. But as the investigation moved to trial--during which the prosecution sought to prove that he killed her in a rage after an argument--a picture emerged of a traumatized individual fascinated with guns and assailed, behind the heroic facade, by anguish and self-doubt.
Acclaimed journalist John Carlin follows the trials of this fallen champion, detailing his fraught upbringing, his almost superhuman rise to athletic glory, and the mysterious circumstances surrounding Steenkamp's death. At the center of Pistorius's story is South Africa--a young democracy stained by a history of racial disparity and levels of criminal violence that are among the highest in the world.
Thoughtful and probing, Chase Your Shadow offers a piercing look at this intriguing modern tragedy, bringing to life a complex figure and the troubled land that shaped him.